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The film is a semi-autobiographical story of an aging film director, played by longtime Almodovar collaborator Antonio Banderas, who won the best actor honor at this year’s Cannes festival for the role. Penelope Cruz, another Almodovar regular, also stars in flashbacks as the main character’s mother.
In announcing the selection, the Spanish Film Academy quoted Almodovar, who was traveling to the Toronto Film Festival, as saying: “I want to thank the members of the Spanish Academy for the support and the chance to once more compete in the best international feature film category at the next Oscars.”
THR, in its review of the Almodovar film, said: “Pain and Glory teems with all the things we relish about him: the importance of women (especially his mother), shameless nostalgia and celebration of sexuality are all present and, of course, in its overstated way, the film is unfailingly great to look at.”
Almodovar won what was then known as the best foreign-language film Academy Award for All About My Mother in 1999, and he was nominated for best director and best original screenplay for Talk to Her in 2002, winning the latter award. In 2016, the director’s Julieta was picked by the Spanish Academy to compete at the Oscars, but it did not make the Academy Award short list.
Almodovar has directed 21 films and he was recently awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for directors at the Venice International Film Festival.
Spain has been nominated for what has so far been known as the best foreign-language film Oscar 19 times and has won it four times.
The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 9, 2020.
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